Okay, so you typed “online rugs", “silk rugs", “kashan rugs" or simply “oriental rugs" into Google, picked the website with the maximum number of online rugs for sale and after a few cups of coffee, finally decided to settle for a Turkish rug with patterns resembling aerial photographs of some medieval city on Google maps! And yes, you also prepared a mini speech you'd deliver the moment you caught someone secretly admiring your Turkish rug.
It's only a year and a half later, you actually begin to respect your oriental carpet when the patterns begin to look more like a copy of Malevich's "suprematism" painting. Your carpet badly needs a shower and you badly need some help! The problem is, it's not an average oven~eight, printed bed sheet - it's a Turkish hand-woven rug and those bejeweled, kohl-eyed, hairnet wearing, brash confidence exuding tribeswomen who create them demand some respect. Your carpet either needs to visit the nearest professional carpet cleaning store or you need to follow the instructions below:
1. The Crime Scene Setting
Choose a gently sloping flat area on a bright sunny day (and hope the next few days would be the same) and fill up your rug with water. Lift the sides to check whether the water has been absorbed and the back is wet too. Roll it up if necessary.
2. Soap It Up
Don't need to be neurotic about the soap type - any mild detergent would do. Gently message the suds with your gloved hands in a circular motion and make sure the entire rug is covered. Don't go overboard - too much detergent could eat into the fibers and it'd be difficult to wash them off. Now, walk over the rug thinking you're walking on grapes to make wine. Next, squeegee it gently until the suds resemble cafe au lait.
It's important to remember here that the above steps cover almost all kinds of contemporary rugs; antique rugs that deserve a shelf in the museum should be sent over to a professional carpet cleaning service.
3. Rinsing and Drying
Squeegee until clean water starts coming out. You could sprinkle some soda and wash it off immediately with water - that's going to take care of pet smells. Now turn the rug over - preferably one half at a time and repeat the grape treading, wine making walk to remove grime from the back too. Keep doing this until the water running out looks drinkable... yes, I know, but I said “looks drinkable"!
Now let the rug dry in the sun for 1-2 hours upside down in a grassy area. The grass prevents static electricity build up in the fibers. Depending on the thickness of the rug, it may take around two to three days to dry off completely.
That should restore the lost glory to your oriental rug!